There is a story about a young girl who was in great distress because she had lost a sense of God in her life. She complained to her elderly grandmother, “Why doesn’t God let me feel His presence? If only I could feel Him and know that He has touched me.” Her grandmother said, “Pray to God, right now. Close your eyes and pray to him. Ask Him to put out his hand and touch you.” The girl closed her eyes and prayed fervently. Then she felt a hand on her hand. “He touched me. He touched me,” she cried out. Then she said, “You know, his hand felt just like your hand.” “Of course it was my hand,” her grandmother said. “That’s how God works. He takes the hand that is nearest and uses that.”
In this weekend’s Gospel Jesus underlines the principle that Love of God means putting Him first, respecting His Name and we are to love our neighbour as we love ourselves because both of us bear God’s image, and to honour God’s image is to honour Him. The love of God has priority and is our source of love for neighbour. In our neighbour we experience something of God, His image and likeness that encourages us to show respect for others, their relationships, their reputations, and their property.
The readings of today easily remind us how God expresses His love for us. Most of the time, God shows His love for us through the people around us. God’s love is there for all to share and we love God when we sincerely love our brothers and sisters. It is simply the commandment to love. It reaches out even to those who do not behave well or wish to hurt us.
However, God does not stop loving us and He constantly reaches out to our love. We are always certain that God’s love is offered to human persons and is never taken back. It comes in the sunset, in creation, in friendship, in our service to others, and in our desire to reconcile. God expects us to respond to this love through our gratitude to Him and express it in our loving service to our brothers and sisters.
Fr. Dantus Thottathil.